El Salvador, 23 Jan 2020

Drinking water crisis in El Salvador: IHE joins Rapid Response Team to combat algal bloom in San Salvador

The quick response of IHE Delft Senior Lecturer, Gerald Corzo Perez, and collaborators Prof Luuk Rietveld (TU Delft) and Hector Angarita (Stockholm Environment Institute), has prompted thanks from the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele Ortez, as an international team forms to help control algal contamination of the drinking water of the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador.

The President used Twitter to thank all partners involved, saying (in translation): “I want to publicly thank the Government of the United States, @USAmbSV, @EPA, the Government of Guatemala, the President @DrGiammattei, @AlcaldeQuinonez and @ihedelft, for their support on the issue of algal contamination in the Las Pavas Water Treatment Plant.”

As an algal bloom formed at San Salvador’s main source of potable water, IHE Delft, together with other partners, was drafted in to support El Salvador’s Administracion Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (ANDA) in solving the problem. It’s anticipated that the rapid assessment mission will last over this weekend.

Longstanding institutional partners, IHE Delft and TU Delft, will provide expert analysis of the situation and will work together with other relevant institutions in El Salvador as required.

Dr Gerald Corzo Perez – IHE Delft, is a civil engineer with a PhD in Hydroinformatics. He is the chair of Geo-statistics at the EGU (European Geosciences Union) Conference, and has been the recipient of the Tison young scientist award from the IAHR (International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research). From 2011 to 2012 he created and led the LatinAqua network for water research scientists in Latin America.

Professor Luuk Rietveld – TU Delft, is Professor of Drinking Water & Urban Water Cycle Technology at the TU Delft. He is also Chairman of the Department of Water Management. His research and education activities include water quality and treatment, wastewater reclamation, water & IT, and water and sanitation.

Hector Angarita – Stockholm Environment Institute, is an environmental and water system scientist at SEI Latin America. He has more than 14 years of experience in water systems modelling and analysis, public utilities planning and operations, and policy design and evaluation. His work includes the analysis of the interactions between water resources and groups of interconnected cities, as well as hydrological forecast and cumulative impact assessments and policy design for freshwater systems conservation.


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